Washington county sheriff says he won't enforce governor's stay-at-home order

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Washington state’s Snohomish County Sheriff on Tuesday said he will not enforce Gov. Jay Inslee’s stay-at-home order because it is a violation of constitutional rights.

Sheriff Adam Fortney was responding to Inslee’s most recent announcement on how he planned to get the state back in business.

“To be quite honest I wasn’t even sure what he was trying to say half of the time. He has no plan. He has no details,” Fortney wrote Tuesday in a lengthy Facebook post. “This simply is not good enough in times when we have taken such drastic measures as the suspension of constitutional rights.”

"As I have previously stated, I have not carried out any enforcement for the current stay-at-home order. As this order has continued on for well over a month now and a majority of our residents cannot return to work to provide for their families, I have received a lot of outreach from concerned members of our community asking if Governor Inslee’s order is a violation of our constitutional rights," Fortney said.

Fox News has reached out to the governor's office with a request for comment.

Washington state has been under lockdown since March 23. Inslee, who has been Washington’s governor since 2013, has won praise in recent weeks -- including from President Trump and members of the president’s Coronavirus Task Force -- for his efforts to stem the spread of the virus after Washington initially led the nation in both infections and deaths.

But the mood has gradually turned sour as lockdown measures have taken a toll on the economy.

While acknowledging the severity of the virus -- which has taken nearly 100 lives in Snohomish County -- Fortney argued that Washington residents have shown they are capable of keeping “themselves, their families and neighbors safe and healthy.”

“As more data floods in week by week and day by day about this pandemic, I think it is clear that the 'models' have not been entirely accurate,” Fortney said. “While that is okay, we cannot continue down the same path we have been on if the government reaction does not fit the data or even worse, the same government reaction makes our situation worse."

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He likewise criticized the state’s apparent double standard on private vs. public jobs, a contradiction he argued is “unethical.”

Kenton Gartrell, Patrick Ray and Garth McKinney, from left, attend a rally to protest the Yakima City Council's decision to formally censure Councilman Jason White, Tuesday, April 21, 2020, outside City Hall in Yakima, Wash. 

Kenton Gartrell, Patrick Ray and Garth McKinney, from left, attend a rally to protest the Yakima City Council's decision to formally censure Councilman Jason White, Tuesday, April 21, 2020, outside City Hall in Yakima, Wash.  (Yakima Herald-Republic via AP)

“Our Governor has told us that private building/construction must stop as it is not essential, but government construction is okay to continue,” Fortney said. “So let me get this right, according to the Governor if you are employed or contracted by the government to build government things you can still make a living for your family in spite of any health risk. If you are a construction worker in the private sector you cannot make a living and support your family because the health risk is too high. This contradiction is not okay and in my opinion is bordering on unethical.”

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Washington is one of many states that has seen rallies in recent weeks protesting governor-imposed stay-at-home orders that have kept Americans out of work to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

President Trump has shown support for these protesters with a series of tweets, encouraging followers to “liberate.”

Inslee, in response, accused Trump of “fomenting domestic rebellion” and encouraging “illegal and dangerous acts.”

Fox News’ Brian Blood and Dom Calicchio contributed to this report.